A cat being picked up by its owner following evacuation (ALERTCanada/Facebook)

A cat being picked up by its owner following evacuation (ALERTCanada/Facebook)

Interior B.C. emergency animal shelter overcrowded, asking for help amid wildfires

ALERT Canada has been over encumbered with animals during wildfires in the southern Interior

  • Aug. 9, 2021 12:00 p.m.

As many families find themselves forced to evacuate due to wildfires in the interior, wild and domestic animals are being stranded.

That’s where the Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team (ALERT) comes into play. The non-profit volunteer organization is responsible for evacuating, rescuing, sheltering and caring for animals during emergency events.

However, the recent barrage of wildfires in the B.C. Interior has heavily challenged ALERT’s efforts, leaving their Osoyoos shelter overcrowded.

“This is monstrous. We can normally handle one disaster, even a few at a time, but this has been really, really tough,” ALERT’s operations director Deborah McBride said.

So far this summer, ALERT has sheltered 146 animals, with 126 still being cared for.

McBride stressed the importance of being ready for these extreme events by preparing multiple emergency plans, or welcoming in family, friends and pets if you can.

ALERT’s website has a list of guidelines to help people when setting up emergency plans, including key pieces of a pet evacuation kit:

– 72 hours of food and water supply for your pet

– A leash, muzzle and harness as required

– Medical records

– ID tags and, if applicable, a microchip number

You can view the rest of the list and other guidelines here.

If you’re interested in volunteering to support ALERT’s efforts, you can visit their website and register to volunteer.


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